Economy, government spending to dominate first major GOP debate

12:34, June 14, 2011      

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As seven U.S. Republican presidential wannabes take the stage Monday evening in the first major GOP primary debate, the economic situation and government spending will likely take the center stage, according to candidates and activists.

Herman Cain, the business executive who will participate in the debate, said Monday the issues he wishes to discuss in the debate are "economy, entitlement spending and energy."

"We have a lot of problems, but those to me are the top three critical problems," said Cain.

Cain's wishes are clearly shared by Republican activists. Corey Lewandowski, New Hampshire State Director for conservative group Americans for Prosperity, said Monday "tonight, we want to hear about reform, we need to hear about the big three entitlement" programs, and called for candidates to have a candid discussion about federal debt and government spending.

The debate, to be held in Saint Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire, features Republican heavyweights such as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, as well as long- shots such as Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Cain.

John Fortier, director of Democracy Project with the Bipartisan Policy Center, told Xinhua that Republicans ran successfully in 2010 midterm elections on federal debt and deficit and the size of government, and that's what Republican candidates are going to focus on, and they are going to emphasize their tax-cutting, government-cutting credentials to the Republican base.

"I think the Republicans do reasonably well when they emphasize they want to cut spending. But there has been times... when they were seen as over-reaching, maybe going to some programs that are very popular with voters," cautioned Fortier.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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